Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Announces Property Tax Relief for Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Personnel
See the full press release (PDF)
Under a local law signed today by Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel are now eligible for a county property tax exemption that reduces the assessed value of their home. by 10%.
“Our volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel selflessly serve our community every day, sacrificing time with their own families and often putting their own lives at risk to help keep others safer and healthier,” said County Executive Bello. “Honoring their generosity and public spirit with this exemption is the right thing to do. I encourage all municipalities and fiscal entities in Monroe County to follow suit and recognize the service of the brave volunteer first responders we rely on.
The local law was passed by the Monroe County Legislature on February 8. To benefit from the exemption for the 2022 tax year, eligible first responders must apply by March 1. Applications are available here: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp466k_fill_in.pdf and should be returned to your local assessor’s office.
The exemption is available to members of incorporated volunteer fire companies, fire departments or incorporated volunteer ambulance services who have been certified as registered members for at least two years. In addition, any registered member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department, or incorporated volunteer ambulance service who has more than 20 years of active service is eligible for a lifetime exemption of 10 % for a primary residence in Monroe County.
The exemption was made possible by legislation proposed by State Senator Samra Brouk and Assemblywoman Jen Lunsford and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul in December that allows Monroe County entities to collect the tax land (the city of Rochester, towns and villages, school districts, special districts, fire districts, and county) to pass their own local laws to grant exemption to members of volunteer fire companies, fire districts and ambulance services. The Monroe County exemption applies only to Monroe County property tax.
“Our volunteer first responders have been on the front lines of the pandemic, providing a 24/7 emergency response despite the danger facing them and their families, which is why I am so proud for championing this bill in the Senate and seeing it implemented today by the county,” said Senator Samra Brouk. “This tax exemption is to give back to our heroic volunteer firefighters and paramedics, recognize their vital contributions to our community, and promote other long-term volunteer first responders in Monroe County.”
“Volunteer firefighters and paramedics go above and beyond – even if they don’t receive compensation – to provide emergency care to our communities and often put themselves in harm’s way to help others,” said Assembly Member Jen Lunsford. “These organizations are an essential part of our emergency response infrastructure and it is important to support them in any way possible. That’s why I sponsored and passed a law allowing Monroe County to offer volunteer firefighters and paramedics a 10% property tax exemption on the assessed value of their home. I will continue to work with my Assembly colleagues to help improve volunteer recruitment and retention, and protect the communities we call home. »
“In Monroe County, our volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel are the backbone of our local fire and ambulance organizations. Providing this tax exemption to our selfless first responders will enhance our county’s retention, growth and respect for those who sacrifice to protect us every day,” said Monroe County Legislator Paul Dondorfer. “I am truly grateful to everyone who helped make this legislation a reality. We must continue to do all we can to protect these vital services and support the people who provide them – I look forward to building on this important progress.”
“When we support the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and ambulance services, we honor selfless heroes, save taxpayer dollars, and preserve fundamental civic and cultural institutions,” said Monroe County Legislator John Baynes
“While the actual cost to each local agency of offering this exemption is minimal, it is extremely important that all municipalities sign on to the plan,” said Michael Lapinski, president of the Monroe County Volunteer Firefighters Association. “Volunteer firefighters and emergency services save taxpayers money by not having paid staff to respond to alarms. But these men and women train as hard as paid staff and are not paid. Any recruitment and retention tool that volunteer fire and EMS agencies can add to their toolbox is necessary to keep residents safe everywhere.